Markets

South Korea Stock Market May See Mild Consolidation

(RTTNews) - The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in five straight sessions, collecting almost 75 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The KOSPI now sits just above the 3,135-point plateau although it may run out of steam on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat amid a lack of catalysts, although crude oil offers mild support. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses are expected to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares and the oil companies, while the technology stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index added 10.33 points or 0.33 percent to finish at 3,137.41 after trading between 3,125.33 and 3,146.19. Volume was 1.96 billion shares worth 14.3 trillion won. There were 544 gainers and 292 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial climbed 1.48 percent, while KB Financial collected 1.13 percent, Hana Financial rallied 2.92 percent, Samsung Electronics lost 0.47 percent, LG Electronics sank 0.94 percent, SK Hynix added 0.35 percent, Naver dropped 1.03 percent, Samsung SDI jumped 1.87 percent, LG Chem eased 0.12 percent, S-Oil gained 0.63 percent, SK Innovation spiked 1.75 percent, POSCO perked 0.15 percent, SK Telecom dipped 0.18 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.84 percent, Kia Motors rose 0.47 percent and Hyundai Motor and Lotte Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending mixed and little changed.

The Dow rose 16.02 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 33,446.26, while the NASDAQ eased 9.54 points or 0.07 percent to end at 13,688.84 and the S&P 500 was up 6.01 points or 0.15 percent to close at 4,079.95.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders sought more clarity about the near-term outlook for the markets - which have risen to record highs in recent sessions, but traders may be worried the markets are becoming overbought.

Traders also kept an eye on the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, although the central bank only reiterated that it is unlikely to change its ultra-loose monetary policy anytime soon.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in February.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday, supported by data showing a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended up $0.44 or 0.7 percent at $59.77 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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